Styles: Underground Hip-Hop, Hip-Pop, R&B
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Label: Quannum Projects
Christian Label: No
Category: The Message whats this?
Chances are, if you have been listening to underground hip-hop, especially Christian hip-hop, in the last ten years, you have heard Pigeon John. Every now and again certain tracks by the likes of KJ-52, The Grits, or DJ Maj have featured this quirky, one of a kind emcee, but for the most part, people have no idea who he is. He is one of the founders of the hip-hop mega group LA Symphony, and one half of the underground duo, Rootbeer, but yet most people haven’t heard his unique vocal style. He released his first solo album by himself (the definition of independent), and sold over 10,000 copies, but most people don’t know his songs. He even has had his music featured on a cereal commercial, but you most likely didn’t know it was him.
Why is it that Pigeon John is such a mystery?
The reason is because Pigeon John has never been concerned with the fame. It is obvious by his infectious but very hard to define songs that his focus has always been to create, and to be creative. His influence has not gone unnoticed though, rapper RedCloud cites a Pigeon John show as the catalyst for his salvation. Emcee Lyrics Born was so impressed by Pigeon’s unique style that he invited him to be part of his label, Quannum Projects, on which the emcee released his most widely distributed and well received album to date,Pigeon John And The Summertime Pool Party. He has been the best elements of some of Christian hip-hop’s best songs, and his musical alliances in LA Symphony, Brainwash Projects, and Rootbeer certainly showcase a man on fire. It is time the world might finally got to know this immense talent.
Pigeon John‘s strongest element is in his unique delivery. It is a comedic approach to serious issues with a combination of intricate rhyming and a fluid singing/talking style. In the various groups he has been involved in, his verses were always a fresh blend of the unexpected, funny, and intensely dense in content. As a solo artist, Pigeon has expanded that fresh take on rapping to make his songs flow with a sense of whimsical intelligence. That is the catch too, because at first glance, Pigeon John is a really funny guy. It does not take much examination to discover though that he is deeply poetic, and immensely spiritual. Although his career has tip-toed in and out of the Christian hip-hop scene, Pigeon’s lyrics have always been unrelenting on their spiritual undertones.
It is because of this dance with the mainstream and underground scenes though, that Pigeon has always been able to deal with issues in his life on a very real level. In his song “As We Know It”, he spends that majority of the verses questioning God’s involvement in the world around him, voicing the questions of many outside of the church such as “why are their wars?”, and “why are things hard?”. His final verse of the song reflects his surrender to God in Pigeon’s own unquie way.
What up Jesus (yes?) what up my nickel my man
Can I ask you couple questions about the whole dang plan?
Without an answer you stretch out your hand
With a look in your eyes that you understand
All the pain all the loss all the confusion
All the up and the downs are now amusing
And I spent all of my life rushing and hustling
When I could’ve just been your friend
Pigeon John has always excelled on keeping the mood light and keeping the content solid. There is always an air of freshness when his voice is coming through the stereo. His live shows incorporates this freshness with high energy, tongue in cheek performances that showcase his comedic side as much as his talent.
Here is Pigeon John performing “Deception” in 2008.
Pigeon’s latest venture is with long time friend Flynn Adam in their group, Rootbeer. The duo were recently featured on the landing page for Myspace.com, and will be playing several times during the SXSW Music Fest in March. I will always love Pigeon John’s commitment to his craft and his faith. It is rare that you can find an artist that is so relevant in both the secular and Christian markets. With Rootbeer, it seems that his unique sense of comedy and art might finally be showing the world what a cool guy Pigeon John is.